Protect and serve the public
What do Police Officers do?
Police Officers help protect lives and property by enforcing laws and investigating crimes. Police Officers are highly trained specialists and have a wide variety of duties, including responding to emergencies, patrolling public areas, conducting criminal investigations and making arrests, and helping to maintain public order.
If you are fit and resilient, hard-working with a strong sense of justice, and want a job that can be extremely challenging but rewarding, becoming a Police Officer could be perfect for you.
- Fit and strong
- Physically and emotionally resilient
- Passionate about helping people
- Strong sense of justice
- Confident and tough
- Can remain calm under pressure
- Great communicator
- Determined and capable
- Responding to emergency calls for help, such as accidents and crimes
- Investigating crimes and pursuing and arresting suspected offenders
- Maintaining public order at gatherings and events
- Providing assistance to victims of crime and their families
- Patrolling roads and enforcing traffic law
- Dealing with people who may be violent and unpredictable, or affected by alcohol and drugs
- Maintaining proper reports and records
Lifestyle Impact: High
- Part Time opportunities: Very low – only around 7% of Police Officers work part-time (source: joboutlook.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 43 hours a week, which is average (source: joboutlook.gov.au). However, you can expect to be working at odd hours, such as overnight, and on weekends and holidays.
- Police Officers’ salary (average) $75,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Strong (source: joboutlook.gov.au).
- This is a job where you may see some extremely confronting things, and can be very mentally challenging. You need to be emotionally resilient and prepared for any situation as a Police Officer.
Police Officers are most in demand in these locations:
This is a large occupation, with around 48,200 people working as Police Officers in 2019 (source: joboutlook.gov.au). Police Officers are needed all across Australia, with higher than average demand in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Most Police Officers work in the public administration and safety industry.
There are jobs available around Australia and globally. Be prepared to do a lot of high-impact outdoors work, as well as some indoor administrative work.
How to become a Police Officer in Australia
The process of becoming a Police Officer in Australia can vary slightly in each State and Territory. Generally you only need to have finished Year 12 to become a recruit. You will need to be 18 years of age and hold a driver’s license.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a strong focus on English and Maths.
Step 2 – Apply to become a recruit police officer in your State or Territory. As part of the application process, you will need to provide your education and employment history, as well as undergo rigorous interviewing and testing, including fitness, psychometric, medical and aptitude testing.
Step 3 – If your application is successful, you will be invited to complete a training program. The length of the program varies in each State and Territory.
Step 4 – Once your training is complete, and you meet any other requirements, you can start working as a Police Officer.
Step 5 – You will need to continue building your skills and training throughout your career, or you can choose to move into specialised role.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Police Officers do?
Police Officers work to protect people and property from harm through enforcing the law. They have a wide variety of duties, including patrolling, conducting investigations, making arrests, and more.
Which industries employ Police Officers?
Most Police Officers work in the Public Administration and Safety industry.
What options are there for career progression?
You can start out doing general policing duties, and as you gain experience choose to move into a specialist role, such as forensic investigation, dog squad, water police, and more. Or you could choose to move into more managerial roles.
Do I need to go to university to become a Police Officer?
No, you don’t need any particular qualifications to become a Police Officer. However, when you apply any education and experience you have will be taken into consideration, so having done some study can work to your advantage.
Where do Police Officers work?
Police Officers work all around Australia and globally. They work in all sorts of outdoor environments, as well as in offices doing administration work.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Police Officer?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Police Officer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Try and get work experience with your local police. This can be a great way to find out what the daily duties of a Police Officer are, and can help you decide whether or not it’s the job for you.
- Volunteer in your community. Not only will this look great on your recruit application, but it lets you build relationships with the people you will be working to protect.
- Start working on your fitness, and make sure you will be able to pass any physical testing required. Don’t forget to stay on top of your mental health too.